. . . only 5% of claims declared invalid
MASERU – Introduced in Lesotho in 2015, international insurer Liberty has paid out over M11.6 million in valid claims over the past three years.
Only 5% of unpaid claims were declared invalid.
Founded 60 years ago, Liberty is present in 17 African countries having grown from being a South African life insurer to a pan-African financial services company, offering asset management, investment, long and short-term insurance across Africa.
Managing Director of Liberty Lesotho Makhakhe Maliehe said they are an organization that understands the value of knowledge and its power to change realities.
He said Liberty is not just about selling policies and investments but about ensuring that people are aware and understand financial literacy and the importance of getting covered for the unseen.
At Liberty, he added, they make it their business that when policies are made they are protected and paid out when time calls for, which is why they introduced financial literacy programme called Mind My Money to be introduced in Lesotho next year.
He said Mind My Money programme is a free financial literacy programme aimed at growing financial literacy, financial freedom and insurance penetration.
The programme uses self-paced digital classes and classroom-based workshops to guide participants on savings and investments, managing credit and debt, insurance and budgeting and administered by financial experts.
Liberty thinks it will be beneficial to Basotho who are mostly interested in funeral policies and are still reluctant to get cover for their legacy.
He said this is because everyone believes that they are experts on their properties, accidents, disability, investments and wealth and refuse any foreign help regarding protecting their wealth.
The programme will also help people to better understand the importance of proper management and protection of finances.
However, like any law abiding entity, Liberty has zero tolerance to fraud therefore it does not pay out claims involving fraud of any kind.
Liberty has a team of forensic investigators who look into claims before a payout is made to ensure that no illegal dealings are involved in claimed case.
“Liberty Life Lesotho is a specialist life insurance company that provides group and individual risk insurance solutions and comprehensive health cover for life-changing events. We offer an extensive range of products and services to help Basotho build and protect long-term wealth.
“Our vision is to become the trusted leader in insurance and investment in our chosen markets. We aim to achieve this by putting our customer’s needs first, creating solutions that are simple, affordable, relevant, flexible and providing excellent service and forming strong partnerships in our markets,” he said.
Liberty Life Lesotho is a subsidiary of Liberty Holdings, founded in 1957 by Sir Donald Gordon.
Like any other insurance company, Liberty believes in signing agreements in black and white and the liberty team ensures that all their clients understand the contract before they commit themselves.
Maliehe said their clients are guided through the application process to check their affordability to cover their legacy, including how to handle their policies so that they get paid if need be.
Their contract entails, among others, specifications on waiting period, terms and conditions of the policy, waiting period, premium, payout and the number of people one can cover.
Liberty has extensive training for its agents who are trained to thoroughly explain the company’s products, different terms and conditions to a client before signing the contract.
Liberty also does affordability checks before any contract can be signed with a client; that is, before they can allow a person to have a policy with them, they access one’s affordability and guide them to reduce their liabilities if there is need.
The company also monitors policies and engages with holders to ensure good and constant maintenance of the policy to avoid relapsing. Liberty’s policies lapse if unpaid for three months.
He said in a case where a client struggles to pay the policy, they advise him to shift to cheaper policies they can afford.
Maliehe noted it is important for people to first understand insurance before committing themselves and explains an insurance as bringing people together to help each other during times of need since emergencies normally cost much money and most people struggle and do not afford at all.
This they can overcome by working together.
Liberty is regulated by the Central Bank of Lesotho, the Lesotho Revenue Authority, Financial Intelligence Unit and the Insurance Institute Association, among other regulatory bodies.
According to Liberty, it is very important to have a policy as it is very hard to save enough money for rainy days because of different priorities one has which include, among others. loans and families that needs to be taken care of.
He said emergencies normally dry out family savings and leave the family without money to survive, adding having an insurance is protecting one’s legacy and welfare from unforeseen circumstances.
“Insurance is not just a funeral policy but is protecting the legacy, wealth and property so that they cannot be affected when emergencies or death happen.
“Funeral policy is just a small part of insurance as they also offer disability policies, critical illness policies, and others that ensure that lifestyles are not change due to unfortunate circumstances,” he said.